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S’court to lawyers, Nigerians: Refrain from media trial — matters in court are subjudice

The Supreme court of Nigeria The Supreme court of Nigeria

The supreme court has warned Nigerians and legal practitioners against “media trial” on matters before the courts.

Inyang Okoro, a justice of the supreme court, issued the warning while delivering the lead judgment on appeals seeking to overturn the election of President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, and Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), had appealed the judgment of the tribunal at the apex court.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Okoro condemned the trend of litigants holding press conferences, “analysing the case and reaching a conclusion”.

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He added that this has led to “some of their followers sending threatening messages to judges and justices”.

The justice warned that litigants must desist from media trial, adding that “a word is enough for the wise”.

“Litigants are advised to trust the court whenever their matters are before it,” Okoro said.

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“It is very unbecoming these days that while a matter is pending in court, litigants engage in press conferences, analysing the case and reaching a conclusion.

“Based on these, some of their followers send threatening messages to judges and justices. Matters in court are said to be subjudice, and parties and their counsels must refrain from media trial and judgment.

“Need not say more on this, and a word is enough for the wise. This issue has nothing positive to offer the appellants.”

Meanwhile, the supreme court dismissed Abubakar and Obi’s appeals and upheld the February 25 election of Tinubu.

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